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Published July 03, 1996 Updated May 02, 2022

Las Cartas de Tacuabe by Manos del Uruguay

Tacuabé was a Charrúa native from Uruguay, an indigenous tribe that became extinct following European conquest and colonisation.

Latin America Uruguay Manos del Uruguay Amerindian Ethnic & Indigenous Tacuabe 2001

"Las Cartas de Tacuabé" were published by Manos del Uruguay, Montevideo, in 2001. Tacuabé was a Charrúa native from Uruguay, an indigenous tribe that became extinct following European conquest and colonisation. Tacuabé was one of a group of four prisoners taken to Paris in 1833 to be displayed as a circus attraction… (read more on Wikipedia).

Amongst their possessions was a pack of playing cards made from pieces of hide, attributed to Tacuabé. The pack was incomplete - only 30 cards survived - so the remaining cards were 're-created' by Manos del Uruguay to make a complete 40-card pack as homage to Tacuabé and the memory of the Charrúa people in Uruguayan history. The designs have been further augmented by the addition of 'pintas', index numbers and corner pips, and the number values written in Charrúa language on each card so that they can be used to play Truco.

Las Cartas de Tacuabe by Manos del Uruguay, Montevideo, 2001

Above: Las Cartas de Tacuabe by Manos del Uruguay, Montevideo, 2001.

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By Simon Wintle

Member since February 01, 1996

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Curator and editor of the World of Playing Cards since 1996. He is a former committee member of the IPCS and was graphics editor of The Playing-Card journal for many years. He has lived at various times in Chile, England and Wales and is currently living in Extremadura, Spain. Simon's first limited edition pack of playing cards was a replica of a seventeenth century traditional English pack, which he produced from woodblocks and stencils.


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